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Defrauding the NDIS of millions is appalling

NDS has today welcomed the arrests of five people arising from allegations of attempts to defraud people with disability

Helpdesk Top 5: February 2019

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Time is running out to participate in our survey and share your experiences with the NDS Helpdesk. Please help us improve the Helpdesk by taking a couple of minutes to complete our survey by Friday 22 February. 

The NDS Helpdesk continues to be the go-to destination for providers to ask unlimited questions about the NDIS, quality and safeguarding and disability employment. It also features a comprehensive searchable Knowledge Hub of more than 160 questions and answers and is also a great source for practical advice and interpretation of key NDIS policy and practices.

Here are the Top 5 Helpdesk Questions for February 2019:

Question 1:

Can the NDIS fund parents or carers to attend disability-specific training programs (eg. seminars and workshops on autism) that upskill and build parental or carer capacity to care for children who are NDIS participants? If yes, would these be funded within the Improved Daily Living section of an NDIS plan?

Answer 1: 

Yes, training for parents and carers can be funded within the Improved Daily Living section of an NDIS plan.

As long as the training is strategy based and specific to the disability of the participant, it is considered reasonable and necessary. The participant must have funding in that part of the plan, which is also used for therapeutic supports. The training must also be related to the goals of the participant.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 2:

Do you have any recommendations for providers around seeking consent from a participant to access information from the NDIA needed to put through a service agreement?

Answer 2:

There are a few options available to providers who need participant consent to seek information needed to put through a service agreement: 

  1. The participant can call the NDIA directly on 1800 800 110 and ask for the information over the phone, or give permission for the provider to call and seek this information on a subsequent phone call. 
  2. The provider can help the participant call the NDIA on the 1800 number, give them permission to speak to the NDIA regarding the matter, and then pass the phone over to the provider to be given advice.
  3. The provider can approach the participant's LAC or support coordinator (if applicable) to seek this information, and the LAC/support coordinator can follow up directly with the participant to obtain their permission to give this information to the provider.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub. 

Question 3: 

As SDA and SIL providers, what protocols need to be in place regarding external providers having access to a participant's home?

Answer 3:

SIL and SDA providers have responsibilities both to the participant and to the other residents of the household.

Most providers in these circumstances develop a range of policies and procedures that help manage some of the possible issues that may arise when a participant chooses to access some supports from an external provider at the SIL premises on an ongoing basis. One-off situations can usually be managed using normal processes and procedures for visitors.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 4: 

Do participants need to use their 10 Medicare rebated psychology sessions per year through a GP under the 'Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule' (MBS) before they are able to access a psychologist via their NDIS plan? For people who are unable to pay the out of pocket expenses to see a psychologist using their 10 MBS sessions, is there a way of using their NDIS funds instead of their MBS sessions to access a psychologist?

Answer 4:

Psychology sessions funded through the MBS are primarily clinical mental health supports and sit outside the NDIS. NDIS funds cannot be used to fund these sessions or to fund the out of pocket expenses.

The psychology services funded in an NDIS plan relates to the goals in an individual’s plan and need to focus on capacity building supports. For example, this could be for supports such as building coping mechanisms for completing everyday tasks including getting to places on public transport, housekeeping, budgeting, and developing skills to support participation in the community.

If a participant has funding under the Improved Daily Living skills section of their plan, they can use it to access psychology services regardless of other psychological services they are accessing. However, they must be able to relate the support provided to their NDIS plan goals.

Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

Question 5: 

How do you credit a participant's plan that is agency-managed for a service that was previously overcharged?

Answer 5:

The NDIS myplace provider portal - step by step guide provides the information in the Payment Section, under the heading of Cancel Payment Requests:

If there has been an error in payments, it can be rectified by cancelling the payment request. After the request has been cancelled, the correct payment request can be submitted. The request can be cancelled if it has a status of pending payment or paid. If the status is pending, the NDIS won't process the request.

This process can be followed on page 100 of the 'Using the Myplace Provider Portal Step by Step Guide'. Read the full answer on the Knowledge Hub.

We hope that you found this month's Top 5 useful. You can access the Helpdesk with the email and password you use to login to the NDS website. For support or to give feedback, please contact us at .

Contact information
Anthea Gellie, Policy and Project Officer, 03 8341 4330,